#GoToGetsIT: This article is part of an ongoing series from GoTo’s thought leaders on the frontlines: Our Solutions Consultants deeply understand our customers’ unique challenges and connect the right solutions to meet their goals using GoTo technology. Here, they share their industry knowledge on what it takes to help businesses everywhere thrive in a remote or hybrid world.
The rise of remote work has shown benefits for the mental health and work-life balance of workers across the United States and around the world. Though some workers argue that getting out of the house and into the office helps with focus and camaraderie, the prevalence of remote work brought about by the pandemic is here to stay. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, nearly 58% of US workers have the option to work remotely at least one day a week, while 35% have the option of full-time remote work.
While remote work is great for a myriad of reasons, it can spell danger for the IT professionals who manage network security, store sensitive information, and stay up at night thinking about remote work security risks. Many businesses have had to rethink the way that they keep their networks safe while employees expand the parameters of their workstations and respond to emails and messages from anywhere in the world. There are several technologies, like GoTo Resolve, aiming to bridge the gap between remote work and security so that remote workers do not have to sacrifice security while working from the beach or their favorite comfy living room chair.
Top 5 ways to manage remote work security risk
Regardless of where teams are working or the industry the business operates in, there are simple ways to implement measures that help relieve IT professionals and end users of remote work security risks.
1. Have well-documented security policies
One of the best ways to make sure your business data is safe is by having security policies in place. When employees know exactly which policies to follow and how to follow them, they are more likely to make that happen. Everyone from the engineering department to the marketing and sales team should follow these practices as well.
2. Offer company-wide trainings on common phishing attempts
Remote working leaves employees even more susceptible to common phishing attempts. Virtual trainings, like GoTo Training, are a fantastic way to clue employees into the latest phishing attempts and even quiz them on what they have learned. Training should also let employees know what they can do and who they should contact should they see an attempted phishing email or message. This awareness is one of the best ways to mitigate remote work security risk.
3. Establish a VPN or implement a remote access platform
A VPN, a virtual private network, is a great solution for businesses looking to ramp up security measures. A VPN is used to encrypt all business communication so that employees have a direct connection to the central office server which stores sensitive information. This is one option to offer secure access for remote employees but not the only option. In the event a VPN is not a viable option due to complexity or lack of user adoption, many companies have turned to remote access tools, like GoTo Resolve.
These tools provide even higher security levels in situations where the employee needs to access their computer at the office. The benefits of providing remote access to your employees would include not having to transport company hardware and files outside of the building, local office security remaining in effect, and IT controlling full network security for all machines. All these benefits of security are possible while still providing easy access for the end user to get their work done without layers of complexity and or user error.
4. Require workers to use secure passwords (or regularly update passwords)
66% of people use the same or similar passwords for multiple accounts. If those passwords are not adequate, then this puts users and businesses at risk of being hacked. Make sure your system requires users to have a secure password containing case-sensitive letters, numbers, and symbols. You could also require employees to change their passwords intermittently to avoid a data breach and ensure hackers do not have employee passwords.
5. Protect remote access connections with zero trust security
A rise in cyberattacks and data breaches calls for extra security precautions. GoTo Resolve is the first IT solution to introduce zero trust architecture to remote access security. This secures remote access connections and remote execution tasks across deployed hosts to prevent malicious actors from getting into one endpoint and wreaking havoc throughout the IT environment.
While the changing landscape of remote work will continue to spell security trouble, there are several ways to avoid falling prey to scammers. Simple and secure tactics and practices, such as those mentioned above, help alleviate a number of security concerns on the rise in the remote working world.